Monday, March 19, 2012

Trayvon Martin Is My Neighbor*

I saw Trayvon Martin walking down my street tonight as I was pulling into my driveway on my way home from work. Obviously, it wasn't the Miami Gardens teenager whose sad story we are hearing on the nightly news. The real Trayvon Martin will never walk the streets again.

But, Trayvon Martin is every young black male who dares to think he is free in America. Free to walk into a 7-11 and purchase a pack of Skittles(TM) and a can of iced tea. Trayvon probably thought that since we had an African American president, a black male, ought to be able to go to the convenience store without his mere presence being perceived as a threat. Wrong.

Take my neighbor, for example. He was walking at dusk, pants slung a little low, braids and a 'swag.' He wasn't threatening to me because pretty much every young black man in my neighborhood looks this way. However, if he were walking in a gated community, where black men look "out of place," the outcome may have been different when he said "Hey, can you call your dog?"

You see, he was afraid of these two large dogs who were roaming the streets. Oh, the dogs weren't looking for trouble either. They belong to another neighbor and they're mischievous. They're always breaking through the fence and on the prowl.

I simply said to the young man, 'they're not my dogs, but they're friendly. Just walk slowly and don't act afraid and they won't hurt you.' I then coerced the dogs to literally get over on their side of the street. The young man smiled at me from under his hoodie and said "Thanks!"

Totally a non-event. Which is what should have been the case when George Zimmerman, 28, and a self-appointed neighborhood watchman, saw Trayvon Martin.

George Zimmerman must stand trial for his actions - cold blooded murder.

If there ever was a case for an 'eye for an eye,' I'd say the eye is on Mr. Zimmerman.

(Trayvon Martin - Rest In Peace)

*The U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI will step in to investigate the killing of Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin, the U.S. Department of Justice announced late today.

The announcement coincided with a statement from Florida Gov. Rick Scott asking the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to offer “appropriate resources” in the case.

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